How do you celebrate a birthday when the celebrant is no longer Here? Though time has ceased to tock forward for him – my brother will stay 51 for as long as I am alive – it still feels right to honor the day that he came into the world. His passing does not lessen his impact on my life. New memories will not be made, but the old provide comfort and smiles and tears. Happy birthday, Charles.
Sending love your way.
Thank you, Kylie!
I hope you find peace and comfort on this day. The first time my Mom’s birthday came after she died, I bought her favorite candy and ate it with my sister and brother-in-law. I think she would have wanted us to enjoy it–both on her behalf and for ourselves.
On my Mom’s birthday in the first year after she died, I bought her favorite candy and ate it with my sister and brother-in-law. I had so many memories of begging for “just one more” of those dark chocolate-covered orange peels whenever my Mom received them as a holiday gift. So, the thought of willingly sharing them with my sister that day brought a smile to my face.
I hope you find peace and comfort today, and something connected to your brother that makes you smile.
That’s lovely – such a simple and sweet way to remember your mom. Thank you for your kind words – I really appreciate it. Best to you.
I think honouring his birthday is a lovely way to keep your memories alive and remind you of someone who’s made your life richer.
I don’t ever want to forget him – not that I would, but life does go on – so it feels right to take time on his birthday to remember and honor and grieve.
Say a special prayer for him, which includes wishing him Happy Birthday, Annie: then, if he were my brother, I’d have a special Mass said for him (Intenion), and then drink a special toast to him! That should cover it! Love Isbel
You’ve definitely got the drink/toast part right! Kel and I will lift a frosty can of beer today. His beverage of choice. Thank you, Isobel. Love.
We planted a tree for mum when she died and whenever an aniversary comes along, I take her a little bunch of flowers and have a chat with her. We learn about how precious life is when we lose someone incredibly close to us and their loss is our reminder to live our lives to the fullest. It slowly gets easier Annie…slowly but surely and one day you will be able to keep your brother in your heart without all of the accompanying pain.
I love the idea of planting something – something that will grow and be ALIVE. We need to do that. My brother would love it, too, actually – he had a garden and many fruit trees of which he was so proud. Thank you for the brilliant idea, my dear. And for your sweet words.
A beautiful fruit tree would be an amazing idea Annie! It’s somewhere that you can go and sit next to (perhaps even under when it gets bigger with a nice bench seat?) and have a bit of a chat to your brother. Its a solid representation of them and it certainly helped me get my head around mums death. Glad I could give you a good idea, you give me SO many on your wonderful website…I owe you 🙂
I think that you should give yourself a special memory/ritual on his birthday each year. The birthday is such a positive reminder of when he was first given life. The anniversary of death will always be remembered, but it is more than likely to be a day of mourning. Celebrate the birth! (I still do this for my very close friend who died when we were 28. His birthday is an easier day for me to play through the memories than the day when he passed away. ) It is so hard and so fresh for you right now. But, over the years, I have noticed that it becomes a little easier to remember the laughter and the fun you had together and focus on the good times.
As usual, Lori, your advice is perfect. Although I’m feeling quite sad today, the sadness is tempered with good memories. In years past, we would be spending time together – usually on his birthday – with mom and dad down in Florida. We had some great trips.
Kel and I will be drinking a beer (a cheap beer, as would be his way) in his honor.
He is there with you, in essence and spirit, celebrating next to you, and happy that you cherish the good memories.
You’re right – I can feel him today. Thank you for your sweet words.
Happy Birthday to Charles. He can feel your love my dear. Wishing I could hug you right now. xoxo
Thanks, babe. It’s going to be one of those teary days.
I wish I could say Holidays and Birthdays get easier, but dangit, they’re always hard! Love you girl.
Love you, too!
Best wishes to you today and every day, Annie.
Thank you, my dear – I appreciate it.
Hugs and best wishes to you!
Thank you, Barb xoxo
I absolutely still celebrate my brothers birthdays even though they are gone. I always light a candle and make a wish for them. One rule I have is to only focus on the good memories. Happy Birthday to your brother Charles.
I’m so sorry about your brothers – the feeling of loss never stops, I’m sure.
Happy Birthday, Charles. Big hugs, Annie. xo
Thank you, dear friend.
As long as you don’t forget, they will always be with you 🙂
You’re right, Sarah! In a way, he does live on. Thank you.
This post gave me chills. A perfect way to honor your brother!! Happy Birthday to him forever!! You are a great sister!
Thank you, Brittany. You’re a love.
This will always be a special day to honor your beautiful brother!
Thinking of you Annie and sending you love!! XXXXX
I feel all the love, Anne. Hugs to you.
This is such a bittersweet post, Annie. It is so wonderful of you to celebrate your brother’s life the way you do. Good energy sent to you on this day!
Appreciate the good vibes, my dear. xoxo
Happy Birthday to Charles. Thinking of you and sending you love and hugs Annie.
Thank you, dear Richa!
What a heart-breakingly beautiful post Annie! May you always celebrate the life and birthday of this most beautiful person in your life 🙂 Much love to you and your family XX
I’m feeling such love and warmth from everyone – – makes the day much easier. xoxo, Shira
My brother passed at the age of 50 on October 31, 2010. I never though to honor his birthday, which just passed on Jan 31; however, I always write a “in memory” post on the day he passed away. I like your idea of honoring someone on the day they entered the world, not parted with it.
Oh wow. I’m so sorry. It’s lovely that you write about him each year. I think that both occasions are worth pausing for – they have such separate but equally important meanings/feeling/memories.
excellent point. 🙂
Happy Birthday to Charles! What a wonderful way to honor and cherish his memory, wishing you peace on this day.
Much appreciated, my friend.
So sorry for such a deep loss. Birthdays of, and with, siblings hold so many rich memories.
He was the oldest, the groundbreaker, the leader. I can’t remember ever fighting with him or being angry at him – so yes – lots of sweet memories.
Beautiful post and a great photo of him. So sorry he was not here to celebrate with you but glad you still have the memories to hold on to 🙂
Thanks, Vanessa – miss him tons.
Happy birthday, Charles! I’m sorry to hear that you lost your brother, and it’s wonderful that you still honor him on his birthday.
Thanks for the birthday wishes, Becky – he got a lot of them :-)!
That’s a brilliant photo of your bro – it’s like he has sunshine in his smile 🙂
Thanks, Lou. I’m biased of course, but he did have the most beautiful smile. That photo is from such a good time in his life and you can see it on his face.